Keeping Your AC Cool All Summer Long
There are many things to love about the summer – long days for enjoying time with friends and loved ones, barbeques in the backyard, road trips up the coast, and much more. But one of the best parts of a hot summer day is knowing that you have a cool, comfortable place to come home to. Given how hard your AC works during the summer, there are bound to be breakdowns, particularly if the system has not gotten the maintenance it might need. During our many years in the industry, we have found several common issues among summertime AC breakdowns.
Some of the most frequent problems found in AC systems during the summer include:
Problems with Capacitors
This is easily one of the most common issues and will likely top just about every company’s list. Your AC unit’s run capacitor is a
decide device that helps motors start up during the system’s run cycle. As they begin to fail, the motors that run the compressor or the fan will struggle to power up, then eventually fail altogether. Older models ran on a coolant called PCB oil. These were long-lasting, but have since proven to be damaging to the environment and carcinogenic to residents. Newer models that run on castor oil are safer but do not have the same longevity. In many cases, when capacitors fail, it is when the weather is hottest and you need them the most. However, it is possible to identify and repair or replace a problem capacitor during your annual inspection!
As the heat increases and you run your HVAC system more and more, you can expect the air filter to get dirty very quickly. Though most home filters are designed to be replaced every 3 months or so, this can vary a great deal based on how many people and pets are in your home, what kind of weather you are dealing with, even what kind of flooring you have. Dirty air filters can have a huge impact on efficiency, as it makes the unit work harder, as well as pose dangers of decreased indoor air quality and even ventilation fires. Fortunately, with just a little pre-planning, it is an extremely easy fix. Consider setting alarms or putting filter replacement on your calendar to make sure the job gets done!
Refrigerant in your system does not function like gasoline in your car, where it is used and expended – if the system is in perfect working order, you should not have to recharge it, as it is meant to be a sealed system. However, as wear and tear from frequent use begins to damage certain parts, it is common for small leaks to form, allowing small amounts of refrigerant to escape. Because freon production was phased out by the EPA starting in 2010 and fully banned at the beginning of 2020, the supplies that remain are expensive and difficult to find. Further, leaks will only get bigger as time goes on. This is why we recommend that you have an expert check for leaks if your refrigerant is low, and they can help you determine your replacement or repair options.
Clogged Condensate Drain Lines
Your air conditioner dehumidifies the air as part of the cooling process, and all that water has to go somewhere. There is a small drain hose that pulls water away from the unit and your property, and it can process gallons of water every day! If anything clogs or damages that small line, it can result in problems with the unit as well as significant damage to the surrounding area if left unchecked. If you ever see water pooling near your unit, do not delay in calling in professional help!